San Jose to add “Silicon Valley” to airport name, maybe

San Jose to add Silicon Valley to airport nameThat would make it “Norman Y Mineta San Jose/Silicon Valley International Airport” a runway length name but just what city leaders think it needs.

“People want to go to Silicon Valley,” San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed said. “But they don’t really know where it is.”

Actually, the problem is that people want to go to San Francisco which has overshadowed San Jose for decades.

Since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, San Jose’s airport has struggled, trailing behind San Francisco then Oakland, losing lucrative routes to Paris and Taiwan. The economic slump that started in 2008 pretty much drove a stake through the beleaguered airport’s heart causing a loss of a third of its scheduled flights and a quarter of it’s passengers.

%Gallery-7858%A $1.3 billion upgrade last summer didn’t help either and now the city is struggling to make payments on the project.

“We need to think about how we can do things differently to market our airport and our region,” said City Councilman Sam Liccardo, who sits on the naming committee that came up with the idea to add on to the name. “The term ‘Silicon Valley’ has global cachet.”

It looks like there are plenty of people living in the area too. “As 2011 begins, about 850,000, the number of jobs in the valley today is about the same as in 1995, the year Yahoo was founded and three years before Google was born. Over the same period, the population has grown by 20 percent” says SiliconValley.com.

Reaching out to the world with a new airport name? Maybe that is just what San Jose needs to kickstart traffic. Still, when we book flights, the airport will be SJC up against SFO.

Flickr photo by J-fish